A to Z Blog Challenge Recap

Twenty-six letters, twenty-six posts. All done. Challenge met.

Ahhh…

That makes me a:

AtoZsurvivor_[2013]To recap, I told a story over all but about three of the twenty-six days. On my three off days, I talked about my foray into self-publishing and did a cover reveal for a fellow J Taylor Publishing author. The rest of the days were for Clockwork Nessie, a steampunk ditty set in pre-World War 1 Scotland. Each installment was around 200 words—quick easy reads.

The Good:

  • Splitting up a story already written was easy-peasy.
  • Prepping nearly all 26 posts over one long evening and next AM made for a stress free April. Nice because I was also busy getting ready for my self-publishing debut.
  • Having the foresight to back up my blog after completing all those posts came in handy (see Not So Good section below)
  • Awesome visitors—seriously! I had some terrific repeat visitors and lots of single visitors too. All terrific.
  • Awesome blogs I visited—some I never expected I would enjoy…I totally did!!
  • An author whose book I’d just read and loved was also participating so I was able to stalk and fangirl squee over her without being too obvious about it.
  • I didn’t miss a single day, not even when my blog was down (thanks to backup plans).
  • Advising participants to visit at least five blogs daily gave me a manageable goal to work with and kept the guilt away.

The Not So Good:

  • My server host shut my blog down twice(!) due to brute force hacker attacks. My site wasn’t broken into but my server host opted to combat the excessive traffic by shutting me down, usually for 24-36 hours. Not cool, but both were over weekends, so only Saturday to worry about. At least I still had my free WordPress dot com blog and was able to import my pre-written blog post backup file and reroute my domain mapping or I’d have been a basket case.
  • No massively amazing serendipity like last year when I was featured in not one but TWO magazine articles after the challenge ended. (Always tag your posts. You never know what fortuitous traffic they might bring you.)
  • All that hacker stuff cut into my blog visiting time. I spent an exorbitant number of hours changing passwords, logging into my CPanel to install new html code, adding plugins, monitoring traffic and resource usage, etc, all because of the attacks, hours I would have preferred to have spent reading fellow A to Z blogger posts.
  • Visitors trickled off toward the end. I can’t throw any sticks because I was guilty of losing my visitor momentum too.
  • There were an overwhelming number of participants and I was never able to get a random “next stop” generator widget. Last year there was one on the A to Z blog but I was on the freebee WordPress dot com blog and couldn’t install it. This year I was on WordPress dot org on my own server, but no widget. sigh…

Overall though, I think the positives outweighed the negatives.

Will I do A to Z next year? You bet!

***

If you want to check out some others’ reflections, please go to the Linky list at the A to Z blog here .

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2 thoughts on “A to Z Blog Challenge Recap

  1. I’m sorry for the Not So Good things, but fun about getting to squee over someone you were a fan of! My blog wasn’t hit, but a forum we host got shut down during April due to the same sort of thing, and my husband happened to be in Australia. Him being my tech and being in a very different time zone made getting it fixed a big issue! Grrr.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

    • Hi Shannon,
      Thanks for visiting and commenting. I wouldn’t wish those hacker attacks on anyone. I’m still a little gun shy and went back to free Blogger for my YA blog…to hedge my bets.

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